Builder’s obligation and Designer’s responsibilities

Builder and designer rights and obligations

Owner responsibilities

Building Act 2004 Section 14B: An owner is responsible for –
Obtaining any necessary:

  • Consents – Building Consent and / or Resource Consent before building starts.
  • Approvals – for amendments to Building Consent documents
  • Certificates – CCC, COA, CPU (as appropriate)

Ensuring that building work carried out by the owner complies

  • with the building consent or,
  • if there is no building consent, with the building code

Ensuring compliance with any notices to fix.

Owner-builder responsibilities

Building Act 2004 Section 14C: An owner-builder is responsible for –
Ensuring that restricted building work is carried out

  • under the owner-builder exemption
  • complies with the building consent and
  • the plans and specifications to which the building consent relates

For more information see Owner-Builder Exemptions.

Designer responsibilities

All designers

Responsibilities of all designers are defined by the Building Act 2004 Section 14D:
In subsection (2), designer means

  • a person who prepares plans and specifications for building work or
  • who gives advice on the compliance of building work with the building code

A designer is responsible for ensuring that the plans and specifications or the advice

  • are sufficient to result in the building work complying with the building code,
  • if the building work were properly completed in accordance with the plans, specifications or advice

Designer Licensed Building Practitioners

Responsibilities of LBPs under Building Act 2004, section 45(3) and section 88

  • If the designer is a Registered Architect or a CPENG Engineer or a Licensed Building Practitioner, it is their responsibility to provide a certificate of work to the building owner and local council when they apply for a BC.
  • If the designer has supervised any RBW construction then when this is finished they must also supply the client with a Record of Work form which the client needs to supply council when they apply for a CCC.
  • Designer LBP’s must be licensed in the design class.
  • They are responsible for designing of primary structures, the weathertight elements, or fire safety systems on residential buildings and these may be classified as “Restricted Building Work” (RBW).
  • They must be competent to carry out this essential work on residential building structures or weathertightness and the RBW of these designs need to comply with the building code.

Registered Architects

Building Act 2004 Section 14D (as above).
Registered Architects must comply with the Registered Architect Rules 2006.

  • Section 7 (2)(p) and section 21(a) RE: Minimum standards: must understand and comply with statutory and regulatory requirements
  • Section 47: Uphold the law: must abide by the professional codes of ethics and conduct
  • Section 49: Show care and due diligence

Chartered Professional Engineers

Building Act 2004 Section 14D (as above).
CPENG engineers must comply with the Chartered Professional Engineers of New Zealand Rules (no 2) 2002 –

  • Section 43: Take reasonable steps to safeguard health and safety of people.
  • The New Zealand Building Code defines the minimum level of health and safety performance that a building design must meet.

Builder responsibilities

Building Act 2004 Section 14E:

In subsection (2), builder means any person who carries out building work, whether trade or not.
A builder is responsible for –

  • ensuring that the building work complies with the building consent and
  • the plans and specifications to which the building consent relates
  • ensuring that building work not covered by a building consent complies with the building code

A licensed building practitioner who carries out or supervises restricted building work is responsible for –

  • ensuring that the restricted building work is carried out or
  • supervised in accordance with the requirements of this Act; and
  • ensuring that he or she is licensed in a class for carrying out or
  • supervising that restricted building work